At the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, we strive for excellence in our work to feed people in need and mobilize our community to end hunger. We believe that both our organization and our community thrive when we understand our impact on the environment and act accordingly.
Some highlights of The Food Bank’s environmentally friendly work include:
- Diverting healthy food from agricultural and industry waste that would otherwise be discarded
- Recycling paper, plastic, aluminum and cardboard (we sell the cardboard to raise additional money to buy food).
- Recycling plastic bags from food drives.
- Recycling paper bags from food drives – if the bag is not ripped we reuse the bags at some food distributions. If the bag is ripped, it gets recycled.
- Solar panels on the roof of our Concord Warehouse reduce the electric bill to a very small amount.
Powering our Warehouse with Solar Energy
The Food Bank owns a warehouse in Concord (31,000 sq.ft.) with a large area for refrigeration and freezer storage (2,800 sq. ft). Running the warehouse and refrigeration areas consumes a lot of electricity and is the primary reason why our electrical bill used to top $4,000 every month. But, we are proud to say we are using solar energy to power our warehouse operations—being more sustainable, saving thousands of dollars, and using the savings in our mission to serve the hungry in Contra Costa and Solano counties.
The Food Bank staff and volunteers are always looking for new ways to be even more environmentally conscious. We need to help feed our community but we also owe it to our community to be a responsible business partner.
Grocery Recovery Program
Since the beginning, the Food Bank has been rescuing quality food from growers and grocery stores that would otherwise end up in landfill. In 2019, our Grocery Recovery program rescued seven million pounds of food.
We are grateful to CalRecycle and California Climate Investments for making it possible for us to expand our food rescue pickups from grocery donors on the weekend. Our grant project included the purchase of a new hybrid refrigerated truck to complete these pickups. The new hybrid emits 22% less greenhouse gas (MTCO22e) and makes our fleet more environmentally friendly as we work to serve our community.